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Basics of PC Board Components

Basics of PC Board Components

How many times in a day did you catch yourself using an electronic device? Have you ever opened an old electronic device such as a remote or an LCD? If so, then you must have seen that green board (maybe red or blue) having many components on it. That is nothing but a printed circuit board (PCB). Because you can find them in almost every modern electronic device. PCBs are present in complex devices such as remote, TVs, LCDs, etc.

The purpose of introducing PCB’s were to make these electronic devices smaller. Printed circuit boards are designed in various layers depending on the complexity of the electronic device. Now you have understood that PCBs are the basic building blocks of any electronic device. Let’s have a look at its proper definition for a better understanding.

Pc board are the basic building blocks of any electronic device. A simple six-layered circuit being used in your smartwatch to the complex multilayered circuit being used in servers and supercomputers, all comes under the category of printed circuit boards. These circuits are used in electronic devices to make them more efficient, thin, and reliable.

The basic setup of printed circuit board:

Printed circuit boards are common in the electronics world and can be found almost anywhere. You can even find one on the device you are using right now. But understanding the technology behind electronic devices may sound like a boring idea. That’s why we have explained the basic components and designing of printed circuit boards to help you understand how these electronic devices are operating. Let’s imagine a green (or red or blue) plastic sheet reinforced glass. The copper pads and traces are attached to this board for current flow. These copper traces are used for attaching different components situated systematically and the electric power flow within these components. The copper traces guide the electric charges to the right destination.

This was the basic design of printed circuit boards. Now comes the layers of PCB. Let’s imagine a big burger having multiple layers of vegetables and cheese. There is a substrate, copper lamination, solder mask layer, and then a silkscreen used for pcb assembly.
Let’s have a look at these terms.

The solder mask is the colored dielectric material you see on your PCB. This is a non-conducting layer that is used as a shield to protect printed circuit boards from short circuiting. The silkscreen is the white nomenclature that is used for guiding purposes. The company’s logo, letters, and symbolic information are written on it for user understanding. This is the first layer you will see on the printed circuit board. After that, every layer of PCB is laminated. The outer layer is for soldering and masking purposes. While the inner layer is used for internal connection. The net of copper wires is spread on the PCB for the flow of electric charges within the circuit board.

Components of Printed Circuit Board:

Although we are using electronic gadgets every day, still understanding how they work is a mystery. It is not that easy to understand how current is flowing in a printed circuit board while no physical action is happening. That may sound weird as well as interesting. But when you dive deep into the electronics world, you will find it exciting. Now you can ask why understanding electronics is important? Yes, that’s the right question, why do you need to understand those complex terms? This is because you cannot do big projects with a basic understanding of electronics. You need to get a deep understanding of PCB’s components. These components are the basic working employees of any PCB. They work together and run the entire circuit board. That is why we are going to explain the basic terminologies and components used in printed circuit boards:

1. Capacitor:
Capacitors are the most common components in any PCB design. You can say that capacitors play the role of an emergency powerhouse. They are used for holding power temporarily. So, whenever power is needed, the capacitor releases the power for the circuit boards. Capacitors are categorized according to the dielectric material and conductor used in them.
These conductors and dielectric material are used to give a rise to the capacitance in electrolyte capacitors, stable ceramic capacitors, and polymer capacitors. Typically, two opposite charges are collected in the capacitor separated by insulating layers or a dielectric layer.

2. Resistor:
Resistors are the simplest to understand components in any electronic device. As a clear form name, resistors are used for resisting purposes. In this case, resistors are used to resist the current flow in the circuit board and electric power is dissipated in the form of heat. Resistors are of different types and made of various ranges for fulfilling the device requirement. But the generally used resistors in most devices are of the axial type having colored rings around its body and leads on both long ends. These colored rings are used to understand the resistance power of any resistor.

3. Transformer:
As clear from the term, transformers are used for transformation purposes. In printed circuit boards, transformers are used for transforming electric current from one component to another with a little decrease or increase in voltage. Transformers consist of a soft metal core and at least two wires are wound around it. One is the primary coil and the other is the secondary coil. The primary coil is for the first source circuit and the secondary coil is used for the transfer circuit for transferring voltage. Similarly large industrial transformers are used to step down the voltage from the transmission lines. They are used for decreasing the voltage from several hundred thousand volts to a few hundred volts for daily household usage.

4. Inductors:
Inductors are somehow similar to capacitors, and they are the last member in the family of linear passive components. Same as capacitors, inductors are used for storing power but there is a difference. The capacitor is used to store electrostatic energy. On the other hand, an inductor is used to store energy in the form of a magnetic field which generates energy when electric current flows from it. So, the inductance will increase with the increase in electric wounding because this will generate a strong magnetic field. Inductors are also used when we are concerned with blocking certain types of signals. For example, interference is blocked in radio signals.

5. Diodes:
A diode is used for one-way flow. They are used in electric devices when we want the current flow from anode to cathode. Diodes are available in bounded shape; one end is the anode and the other is the cathode. There is zero resistance in one direction and heavy resistance in the other direction. This can help to avoid the flowing of current in the wrong direction. There are many types of diodes available but the most famous one you have probably seen is the light-emitting diode also known as LEDs. As clear from names, these diodes are used for light-emitting purposes.

6. Potentiometer:
It can be said that potentiometers are the advanced type of resistors. Because they are used when we need variable resistance. They are available in linear and rotating forms. The resistance may vary by rotating the knob of the potentiometer. An easy example of a potentiometer you have probably experienced is the volume knob of a radio. You can set volume frequency by rotating the knob of the radio. The linear potentiometer works the same, but we just have to move the slider on it for adjusting the resisting frequency.

7. Transistors:
Transistors are amplifiers. They are also used for electric switches. They are the basic building blocks of any electronic device. You can find many transistors in your single IC chip. Several types of transistors are available, the most famous one is bipolar transistors. There are further types of bipolar transistors known as NPN (that is used for relatively small amounts of current) and PNP (that is used for large amounts of current).

8. Integrated Circuits:
ICs or the integrated are the most common components of PCBs. integrated circuits are composed of many electronic circuits in one single chip. ICs are made with semiconductor materials and several capacitors, inductors, and resistors are fabricated over its layer. Integrated circuits perform as an oscillator and amplifier in electronic devices.

For a better understanding of electronic devices, their functionality, and other factors, these components are a way to go. PNCONLINE is the leading PCB manufacturing company located in New Jersey, United States.

Are you in need of a pcb assembly services or PCB manufacturing? Just write us at sales@PNConline.com

Written by Sam Sangani

Sam Sangani

Sam Sangani is the President & CEO of PNC Inc., a Nutley, NJ based Printed Circuit Board manufacturer. Sam graduated from L. D. Engineering College with a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also continued his education and graduated from Steven’s Institute of Technology where he acquired a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

After completion of his BS, Sam worked as a QC Manager, for Xerox, Romania and London. He was responsible for the Quality Control of Cable and Wire Harness imports from Romania. After completing his Master’s Degree, he worked as a Senior Programmer with IBM, Tucson, Arizona. Sam was responsible for leading the Mainframe System Programming Team.

In 1997, Sam acquired PNC INC., a Nutley, NJ based PC Board fabrication Shop. From 1997-2013, Sam has made tremendous improvements and changes within PNC INC., as he added many new Products and Technologies in PNC’s portfolio. With his proven track record and leadership, PNC has never had an unprofitable year and has continued its growth yearly since 1997.

His current responsibilities are Strategic Planning, Corporate Management, New Business Ventures, Sales & Marketing, Trade Shows, Professional Services and leading productive teams to achieve peak potential. He has also utilized Lean Management techniques which have built a foundation for PNC’s high-paced growth. Sam also enjoys real-estate investing, web design & SEO, trading stocks, options, futures and Forex markets.

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